Current Exhibition

  • ARC Creative Libraries Programme
    Alexandra Leykauf
    Becky Beasley
  • 21 May to 24 December 2017

The Forum in Southend is simultaneously home to a university, public library and gallery and this utopian collection of institutions provides the context for the project. As part of ARC’s ongoing programme at the intersection of performance politics and popular culture, Leykauf and Beasley will be carrying out research projects in response to the social, historical and cultural context of Southend. Working with the collections in the Library and Museums, researchers within the University, artists and writers to develop their work and thinking. A programme of performance, talks, screenings and exhibitions will be presented at the Forum offering audiences a unique insight into the artists’ practice and the research that informs it.

The ARC Creative Libraries Programme, Southend (CLPS) is a collaboration between ARC, Focal Point, Southend Museums and Library and Essex University and is part of a unique programme of fellowships run by ARC across the UK supporting artists’ research projects through facilitated access to university research, public programmes and commissions.

Alexandra Leykauf

For her ARC fellowship artist Alexandra Leykauf has been investigating the visual language of landscape through its image, history and representation with a particular focus on the landscape of Essex - beginning with JA Baker whose seminal work The Peregrine, describing the landscape through a compression of his experiences over 10 years into a single year long narrative, is widely acknowledged as the foundation stone of contemporary nature writing.

To expand on this idea of a layering of time, representation and experience, Leykauf has been speaking with writers and academics at the University, artists, film makers and archivists to inform her thinking. Working with collections of aerial archaeological photographs and 19th Century landscape paintings, these and other researches have added to her ongoing research into the ways in which landscape can be understood and represented as a layering of experience, real and imagined, a collage of our relationship to nature and an expression of our society and

our relationship to creativity at different points through history.

Becky Beasley

Following the completion of her latest work A Gentle Man, a film made with her Father, Beasley has begun gathering materials and ideas as part of the process for developing a companion piece to that work. During the course of 2017 Beasley will be researching and developing this new work of fiction responding to the history, geography and culture of Southend. This research will form the core of a new piece of writing, commissioned by the Artists’ Research Centre, which will be published and accessioned into the Library at the Forum in Southend. In addition, a programme of events relating to Beasly’s research will be presented at the Forum towards the end of the year.

About Artists’ Research Centre (ARC)

The Artists’ Research Centre (ARC) was founded in 2016 by Ben Roberts it creates unique collaborations between arts organisations, universities and the creative industries to develop programmes of events, bespoke mentoring and commissions that facilitate artists’ research and practice. The Creative Libraries Programme is an ARC programme offering artists unique access to Library collections around the UK in support of their research and public engagement programmes.

Information about all the artists, projects and partners working with ARC can be found here

The Artists’ Research Centre is supported by Arts Council England